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ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 1988
When people attending the Bruce Springsteen concert pay scalpers $350-$850 for a $25 ticket, it is easy to understand why we have inflation. The consumer is being consumed. MONROE RUBINGER Beverly Hills
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OPINION
September 15, 1991
In its editorial "Help Wanted From the Fed," Sept. 7), The Times wants the Fed to boost economic activity by cutting interest rates even more and "that should help fuel consumer spending and fire up the recovery." The Times seems to forget that millions of consumers depend on interest income to make ends meet. If their interest income goes lower, how would that fuel consumer spending and fire up the economy? C.B. MIRKIN Los Angeles
BUSINESS
January 10, 2014 | David Lazarus
Businesses have the tools and know-how to keep our personal information safe. They just don't do it. "It's expensive," said Nick Mancini, a partner at Tech Consultants, a Woodland Hills information technology firm. And that, in a nutshell, is why big companies that should know better routinely issue red-faced notices that they've been hacked and that customers' confidential info is on the loose. Target took it on the chin again Friday when it revealed that up to 110 million customers - not just the 40 million it originally reported - may have had their names, addresses, credit and debit card numbers and other information stolen.
BUSINESS
January 17, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Like millions of other Target shoppers, Janet has received an offer from the company for free credit monitoring. This is to help protect against identity theft after the hack attack against the retailer that resulted the personal information of up to 110 million people going astray. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Janet wants to know how she can tell if the email she received is legitimate. Couldn't this be another way for hackers to be coming after people?
BUSINESS
October 24, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Bill's daughter recently purchased a house, and it came with a home warranty. Then the trouble started. She took a shower and discovered that water was seeping out of the walls. Yow! Bill's daughter contacted the warranty provider and was told the policy didn't cover plumbing. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Bill asks: Is that how these things usually work? And the answer is: No. Most home warranties cover plumbing, along with most other major systems and appliances.
OPINION
June 28, 2012
Re "Suit targets consumer watchdog," Business, June 23 I found it amusing to read that C. Boyden Gray, an attorney in a suit challenging the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, complains about how unfair and wrong it is that "if you're a poor beleaguered financial institution … and you are set upon by this bureau, you have no access to the democratic system … to appeal what's happened. " Perhaps Gray might also consider the plight of a private individual set upon by one of those "poor beleaguered financial institutions.
BUSINESS
January 21, 2014 | By David Lazarus
David wants to know if there's a best time to buy cruise tickets. Do you get the best deals if you dive in early and book months in advance, or is it smartest to wait until the last minute and see what's available? ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. To find out what the experts say, check out today's Ask Laz video. If you have a consumer question, email me at asklaz@latimes.com or contact me via Twitter @Davidlaz .
BUSINESS
December 19, 2013 | David Lazarus
Your personal information isn't safe. That doesn't apply only to the 40 million Target shoppers whose credit and debit card numbers may now be in the hands of hackers. It's a trend that's been clear for many years: The stewards of consumers' personal info - businesses, hospitals, government agencies - are woefully negligent when it comes to safeguarding data. Too often, sensitive computer files are unencrypted or left on laptops that get stolen. Aggressive moves by hackers are met with only the most cursory security upgrades.
OPINION
August 22, 2013 | By Charles Duan
Patent trolls are a widely reported problem for big business and technology makers. They are companies that exist primarily to buy up patents and then collect money, in the form of licenses or lawsuit settlements, from alleged infringers of those patents. Trolls take advantage of a patent system with serious flaws, and their abuse of the system is creating, as a White House fact sheet recently put it, a "drain on the American economy. " And, as it turns out, a drain on you, the ordinary consumer.
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